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Join Kennett Outdoors and other local organizations for this weekend's Family Walkfest in Kennett

Updated: Apr 19

Encouraging families with young children to explore paths and routes in Anson B. Nixon Park and around the Borough. Could this pave the way for other kinds of Walkfests?

One of our goals at Kennett Outdoors is to encourage people to get healthy outdoors every day. Taking a healthy walk is one of the easiest ways to get started, so why not offer people healthy options right here in Kennett? Margot loves to walk, work, and play outdoors several times a week in Anson B. Nixon Park.

So we were excited to propose a walkfest (and a related talk) to Kennett Library as part of their new Health Awareness Initiative, with an event building on Kennett YMCA's annual Healthy Kids Day. The result is the first Family Walkfest, organized with Kennett Library's leadership, marketing, and support, in collaboration with Anson B. Nixon Park, and the Kennett YMCA. We think that others might be interested in how we did this.

Kennett Outdoors laid out 5 routes - 3 in the park in 2 in town - to offer families a healthy options to begin walking together that fit their interests and abilities (click here or on the map to the right for more information). We wanted a route accessible to anyone just starting out, and so we laid out the 1/2 mile Reservoir Loop in the park that is suitable for all ages and abilities. We also wanted longer routes, including those exploring more urban spaces? So we included the 1.7 mile Cypress Beach - Birch - Alley Loop - one of two loops in the Borough that intentionally utilize alleyways to highlight their potential as a safe and comfortable options for walkers and cyclists keen to avoid busier streets.

Aligning this with the YMCA's annual Healthy Kids Day was helpful in shaping the routes. We knew that we would aim for shorter routes - .5 to 1.5 or 2 miles - to accommodate the endurance of young children while still offering other options that would meet the daily recommended activity levels for children. In contrast, a walkfest targeting adults would probably aim for 2 to 2 1/2 miles walks, to help begin to meet the daily recommended activity levels for adults.

We were especially excited to be able to work with the Park to integrate Nature stations into the walk on the Park Loop.

We think that a themed walk could be another great way to get people healthy while also learning more about their surroundings. This was inspired in part by one of the more interesting WalkWorks community initiatives, in Indiana County. We could imagine other kinds of themed walks right here in Kennett.

Another element that made this more exciting was an opportunity to educate the public about the health benefits of walking. We did this by offering a talk (see right) as part of Kennett Library's Health Awareness Initiative the week after the Walkfest. A copy of our presentation can be posted here after the event.

We also used this as a chance to play with more detailed online maps. In addition to the overall map, maps are generated for for individual routes that include directions and other details.

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